#12 UVA wins eighth straight, tops Georgia Tech, 9-4

virginia baseballAlec Bettinger (Jr., Woodbridge, Va.) tossed his first career complete game and the No. 12 UVA baseball team racked up 17 hits as the Cavaliers picked up a 9-4 win over No. 19 Georgia Tech Saturday evening in front of 4,500 fans at Davenport Field. Virginia (33-17, 16-10 ACC) won its season-high eighth straight game and clinched its fourth straight ACC series win.

“Alec Bettinger was terrific tonight,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Georgia Tech has a really, really good offensive lineup, and it speaks to the job he did. Certainly they got three home runs off of him, pretty good swings, but he managed the game to where he didn’t walk batters and they were all solo home runs, and you’ve got a shot when you keep it to that. I thought he was in complete control. It’s pretty rare to have back-to-back complete games.”

Friday starter Connor Jones (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) also went the distance for Virginia. It marks the first time UVA pitchers have recorded back-to-back complete games since Danny Hultzen and Robert Morey did so on April 30 and May 1, 2010, respectively, at Duke.

Bettinger (2-4) allowed four earned runs, six hits and one walk while striking out seven. Georgia Tech (32-18, 11-14) used five pitchers, with starter Ben Parr (7-1) taking the loss after allowing six earned runs, eight hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings.

The Cavaliers were clicking on offense as all nine starters recorded at least one hit. Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.), Justin Novak (So., Tokyo, Japan) and Cameron Simmons (Fr., Royersford, Pa.) each picked up three hits. Of Georgia Tech’s six hits, half came from solo home runs from Brandt Stallings, Kel Johnson and Matt Gonzalez.

Virginia batted around and scored five runs in the first inning to jump to a commanding lead. With one out and the bases loaded, Daniel Pinero (Jr., Toronto, Ontario) lined a single to right to plate a pair. Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.), Charlie Cody (So., Chesapeake, Va.) and Jack Gerstenmaier (So., Richmond, Va.) followed with consecutive RBI singles for a 5-0 lead.

Bettinger retired the first six Yellow Jacket batters before Stallings launched a solo homer to deep left-center field to lead off the third inning. UVA countered in its half of the inning with two runs on an RBI bunt single from Clement on a safety squeeze and a Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) RBI single.

Johnson homered over the left-field bleachers in the fourth inning for his 10th long ball of the year. UVA pushed its lead to 9-2 in the sixth inning on a run-scoring double from Simmons and an RBI single to center from Novak.

Georgia Tech’s first two hits that were not home runs came with two outs in the seventh inning, a double from Tristin English followed by an RBI single from Grant Wruble in the seventh inning. Gonzalez cranked a solo home run to center in the ninth inning to cap the Yellow Jackets’ scoring.

Virginia goes for the series sweep at noon Sunday. A live video broadcast can be accessed on VirginiaSports.com via a Cavaliers Live subscription, while WINA 1070-AM and 98.9-FM have the radio broadcast. A link to live statistics also can be found on VirginiaSports.com.

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